Potato shaping machine programmed to cut an 8-sided Chateau Potato. Six similar devices were built on workshop machines and microcomputer programmed by 1st year undergraduate engineering students taking the Innovation and Design course whilst studying at the University of Brunei Darussalam.
Supervisor and designer: Associate Professor Francis (Frank) Nickols
(i) the raw potato is rotated by a 400-step/rev stepping motor,
(ii) the cutting blade is rotated by a high torque angular displacement integrated servomechanism,
(iii) the clamping mechanism is articulated by another integrated servomechanism but is a low torque device, and,
(iv) the stepping motor and the two servomechanisms are controlled by a Parallax Basic Stamp 2 microcomputer.
Also note that the cutting edge of the blade is carefully ground and angled so as minimally to disturb the compliant potato as it is sliced. Furthermore the clamping mechanism is carefully designed so as not to get in the path of the raw potato but at the same time to permit a small as possible tapered end to the final product.
See simulations at near bottom of page for more clarity of the machine operation.